David Tepper, the new hedge fund king in town, netted roughly $7 billion this year, making big bets on battered bank shares. That makes his fund Appaloosa Management, one of the biggest winners of the financial crisis.
It is a heart-warming holiday story about a hedge fund that profited because the nation prospered, as opposed to the hedge funds that profited in 2007 and 2008 on the collapse of the subprime mortgage market.
If you are lucky enough to be on Tepper’s holiday list, here is what a man who made roughly as much as the annual gross domestic product of the nation of Montenegro can afford to buy:
Power tools are always popular at Christmas. Tepper could have snapped up the entire power tool company, Black & Decker, which sold last month for $4.6 billion to Stanley Works. As a stock stuffer, how about throwing in Chattem Inc, the maker of Gold Bond foot powder and dandruff shampoo, Chattem Inc, which cost about $1.9 billion?
For that really special person with an outsize ego, Tepper could build them a matching set of the world’s tallest building. The 2,684 feet, 160-story Burj Dubai cost an estimated $4.1 billion to construct. Tepper might need to put some of the construction bill on credit, but what’s to worry? Those condos will sell out in no time. Just ask Dubai’s real-estate developers.
If Tepper is feeling in a charitable mood, Third World debt is a trendy gift. He could wipe out the African nation Tanzania’s $6.1 billion debt or Somalia’s $5.5 billion and have enough left over to clean out Namibia’s $800 million of loans.
Every hedge fund should own a bank. Tepper profited by betting that Bank of America and Citigroup would survive the dark days of February and March. For an encore, he could buy the $2.5 billion of Treasury-held warrants in KeyCorp, of Cleveland, and the $3.5 billion of warrants in Regions Financial Corp., Birmingham, Ala. The struggling regional banks aren’t as flashy as Wall Street’s wards of the state, which makes them a more understated gift.
Then there is this number: 4,666. That is how many Lamborghini Reventons, the most expensive and powerful Lamborghini on the road, that Tepper could buy with his winnings.